Figure Studies 1
Smarkusz studied figures in pen and ink while commuting to Hartford Art School
For young artists beginning to capture nuances of form and movement in their early sketches, working in pen and ink requires a certain degree of confidence. Most beginners work in pencil or crayon, knowing they can sketch lightly and then make adjustments by drawing over it - a perfectly good strategy to "hone in" on the subject. When rendering in ink however, each line is dark and permanent, focusing the artist into proceeding more immediately and decisively, or the entire sketch will suffer.
Smarkusz trusted his ability to see, feel, and render a subject as if he were one with it. As a fully engaged artist, what he observed during the act of drawing, and the drawing itself, became one continuous experience and expression. Such is the desired process when sketching in pencil too, but working in ink is much less forgiving of those who have trouble maintaining that continuity. Vincent was naturally gifted in his ability to feel and express what he saw - and in his freedom to infuse what he imagined.